With 15 games to go, the Sabres are falling farther and farther away from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Saturday, the Sabres were defeated by the lowly Ottawa Senators for the fourth time this season.
To make matters worse, on Tuesday, the Sabres were dropped stone cold by the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2. The game was tied at one after two periods before the Flyers tallied four unanswered goals in the third.
Again, it was the same old story for the Sabres. They are battling for a playoff spot and their top players are nowhere to be found. Reminiscent to the first half of the season, the Sabres look like a non playoff team. Tonight, the Sabres may have cemented that fact.
Tim Connolly had four points Friday night against Phoenix. Tonight, he was nowhere to be found. Thomas Vanek is only a few games back from returning from a severe jaw injury. He has yet to play anywhere near how he was playing before suffering the injury. In fact, he often goes 5-7 games without scoring a goal, and then all of a sudden scores two or three.
That is the biggest problem with the Sabres right now and it has been for the past couple years. For the past two seasons, the “big name” players in Buffalo lack consistency to say the least. Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Jochen Hecht are also part of that group on offense.
These are players that fans will look to produce points and win games for years to come. Besides Connolly, all the players mentioned above will likely be around for three, four and even five more years.
For the second straight year, after the you-know-who era, Buffalo's best players have been average at best and likely will cause them to miss the postseason once again.
Yeah, I know. Even after a loss tonight, the Sabres remain only a few points out of the eighth and final spot in the conference. But their remaining schedule is not getting any easier from here on out.
Teams like Philadelphia, Washington, New Jersey, Detroit and Boston make the Sabres playoff hopes even more bleak than they already are. Not to mention, the Sabres will also play Florida (twice), the NY Rangers, Montreal, and Carolina before the end of the regular season. Each of theses teams are battling for the final three or four spots in the conference.
The loss against the Flyers is definitely a slap in the face. It seems as though the Sabres have reverted to the same win two, lose two mentality they had before the new year.
Buffalo's fans will continue to root for their beloved Sabres, but reality may be starting to settle in that they are not a playoff team after all.